The National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced two major decisions towards holding the much delayed bye-election with the publication of 33 persons who met all the requirements to contest in the process and also officially declaring campaigns to take place in Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties where vacancies were created after 4 representatives from those counties won senatorial seats during the last Special Midterm Senatorial election held on December 8, 2020 that necessitated the bye election. The bye election will now take place on November 16, 2021
According to a breakdown of information contained in a Press release issued on its official website, Bong County will be parading with 12 candidates with one female, 5 males, 4 independents and 8 representing various political parties while 9 candidates will be contesting against each other in Bomi County comprising of 1 female, 5 males, 4 independents and 5 persons on the platform of political parties. Curiously, the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is not fielding any candidate but reports have it that it is supporting one an independent candidate in the race.
The release also said Grand Gedeh has six candidates all males , no independent candidates and it is appearing to be a two horse race between Mr. Jeremiah Garwo Sokan of the CDC and Mr. Erol Madison Gwion, Sr of the Liberia Restoration Party. On the other hand, Nimba has 6 candidates, made up of 1 female candidate and 5 males, 1 independent candidate and 5 persons representing various political parties. Again, surprisingly the ruling CDC is not fielding any candidate, but competent sources have it that the party is supporting Francis Nya Maweah of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction of Senator Prince Yormie Johnson.
The decision of CDC not to field any candidate in Bomi and Nimba Counties was a subject of discontent recently from two of the constituent parties in the coalition, the Liberia People Democratic Party(LPDP) of former Speaker Alex Tyler and the National Patriotic Party(NPP) of Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor. The two parties were not happy that the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has been taking unilateral decisions in selecting candidates for various elections since President George Manneh Weah took over the affairs of the state in 2018.
It can be recalled that NEC should have conducted the bye – election at least 90 days after vacancies in the lower house were created due to the protracted legal tussles occasioned by various electoral related issues and financial challenges, the exercise suffered serious delay.